Healing - Scott Kinnaird

In 2013 the General Assembly (GA) of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) approved a resolution calling on the church to affirm the faith, baptism, and spiritual gifts of everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and that neither are grounds for exclusion from fellowship or service within the church. You can Google “GA-1327” to find and read the resolution in full.

At the time I knew nothing about the structure of our general church or the resolution process. But, the controversy surrounding GA-1327 woke me up and initially it wasn’t a positive experience.

People I’d known for 20 years left our Sunday school class in part over GA-1327. A member literally handed me a copy of it the last time I saw him in our church building's rotunda.

As I read GA-1327 that morning I remember agreeing with what I read, but strongly disagreeing with the divisive and destructive process that produced it.

I then joined a First Christian Church (FCC) task force to learn more about the general church’s resolution process and to hopefully help put an end to future disruptions to not only our congregation, but other congregations around the country as well.

I was confronted with an alphabet soup of acronyms like GA, GM, OGMP, GLAD, DHM and DOM. Even though acronyms are meant to make communication more efficient, they can also be disorienting and make people feel like outsiders.

Unfortunately, acronyms can also dehumanize the people they represent. It's easier to dislike an acronym than it is a person, especially when you’ve convinced yourself those letters represent a group that created a wedge between your friends and family members.

With irony recognized on both sides, our FCC task force drafted a resolution to end these divisive resolutions and our efforts resulted in GA-1524 which was presented and adopted at the 2015 General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio, by a large group of faithful FCC members.

But, GA-1524 didn’t end the resolution process, because for it to have a hope of passing the final draft included language that compromised with other groups who do not want the resolution process to end.

To get the final resolution passed, we worked with people from Disciples Home Missions (DHM), the Division of Overseas Ministries (DOM), the Gay, Lesbian and Affirming Disciples (GLAD) and the Office of the General Minister and President (OGMP).

GA-1524 called for a denomination-wide Social Witness task force to discover a less divisive method by which to educate Disciples on social justice issues. I attended the first meeting of that task force as a representative of FCC in February of this year in Indianapolis, Indiana.

After three years I was able to put faces and names with those lifeless acronyms with which I had been so angry.

And, of course the people I met that weekend didn’t match the images I had conjured up in my mind. They were wonderful people of deep faith and love. They were Disciples. They were variations of you and me, with personal stories that would bring any compassionate person to tears.

At the end of the conference I rode the hotel shuttle back to the airport with the man who drafted GA-1327, the controversial resolution that rattled our congregation and made me aware of so many important issues. We had a great visit and we’ll be working on this new resolution together.

Our denomination’s identity statement says: “We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us.”

By getting involved in this process, I’ve learned there is a natural tension between unity and justice. It’s hard to keep everyone together while making sure we do what we know is right. Finding our balance at the center of that tension requires us to understand the experiences and views of other people, while remembering they ultimately are no different than you or me.


19 comments (Add your own)

1. Rebecca Littlejohn wrote:
Thank you for this testimony, Scott! Let us pray fervently for the faithfulness and fruitfulness of this process!

Tue, March 15, 2016 @ 12:58 PM

2. John Richarddon wrote:
Thank you, Scott, for your witness to who we are as Disciples of Christ.

Tue, March 15, 2016 @ 6:19 PM

3. Jerame wrote:
Thank you so much for sharing this experience. As a gay man who grew up in FCC Edmond, I knew way too many judgemental people during that time and even more knew me. There was no way for me to come out and still be welcome in my church home 25 years ago. This gives me and so many like me hope for the future of that which is so important - our place of worship. I cannot tell you how important this movement toward inclusion means to us.

Sun, May 15, 2016 @ 2:32 AM

4. wrote:
Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
There's a lot of folks that I think would really
appreciate your content. Please let me know. Thanks

Fri, October 5, 2018 @ 7:31 PM

5. wrote:
Good day! I could have sworn I've been to this site before but
after reading through some of the post I realized it's
new to me. Nonetheless, I'm definitely glad I found it and I'll be book-marking and checking
back frequently!

Sun, October 7, 2018 @ 1:11 PM

6. wrote:
I got this web page from my friend who shared with me concerning this website
and now this time I am visiting this web page and reading very informative articles at this time.

Sun, October 7, 2018 @ 5:03 PM

7. wrote:
It's nearly impossible to find educated people in this particular topic,
but you seem like you know what you're talking
about! Thanks

Sun, October 7, 2018 @ 5:44 PM

8. wrote:
Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.

Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
I've been trying for a while but I never seem to
get there! Cheers

Wed, October 10, 2018 @ 1:54 AM

9. wrote:
This post will assist the internet people for creating new
weblog or even a blog from start to end.

Tue, October 16, 2018 @ 7:08 AM

10. wrote:
First off I want to say superb blog! I had a quick question in which I'd like to ask if you do not mind.
I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your
thoughts before writing. I've had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my
ideas out. I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost just trying to
figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?

Many thanks!

Wed, October 17, 2018 @ 10:40 PM

11. wrote:
Please let me know if you're looking for a article author
for your weblog. You have some really great posts and I
think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some
of the load off, I'd really like to write some articles for your blog in exchange
for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail
if interested. Many thanks!

Thu, October 18, 2018 @ 8:31 AM

12. wrote:
Do you have any video of that? I'd care to find out
more details.

Sun, October 21, 2018 @ 12:52 PM

13. wrote:
Hi there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew
where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?
I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having difficulty finding one?
Thanks a lot!

Sat, October 27, 2018 @ 1:20 PM

14. wrote:
I could not resist commenting. Well written!

Sun, October 28, 2018 @ 2:30 AM

15. wrote:
I don't even know the way I stopped up here, but I thought this post was once good.
I don't recognize who you might be but definitely you are going to a
well-known blogger when you aren't already. Cheers!

Mon, October 29, 2018 @ 2:39 AM

16. wrote:
I am sure this article has touched all the internet visitors, its really really good post on building up new webpage.

Fri, November 2, 2018 @ 6:42 PM

17. wrote:
I'm not sure why but this weblog is loading very slow for me.
Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end?
I'll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

Mon, November 5, 2018 @ 3:24 AM

18. wrote:
I visited several blogs but the audio feature for audio songs current
at this site is really fabulous.

Tue, November 6, 2018 @ 11:16 AM

19. wrote:
Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just
wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do
you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
I get so much lately it's driving me insane so any
support is very much appreciated.

Sat, November 10, 2018 @ 8:11 AM

Add a New Comment


code
 

Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.

DEVELOPED BY COLLISION MEDIA

Close
Close